What is LCL? Shipping with LCL for import and export

Indonesia Logistics LCL shipments
LCL shipments for Import, export and more

If you do not work in the logistics industry or not the kind of individual who ships goods often, you may not know what ‘LCL’ means. The term ‘LCL’ refers to ‘Less than Container Load’. This term is widely used all over the logistics and supply chain industry. In this article, we would be going deep as to what ‘LCL’ is all about. So without further ado, let’s get started!

When do I use LCL shipping?

Containers usually come in the form of twenty foot or forty foot. These containers are offered by Kargo as well (click here to see our prices). As such, due to the large nature of the container, not all shippers (businesses and individuals) need all the space in the container to  make the shipment. As such, when they are booking a container for shipment, they need to mention the term ‘LCL’ to the freight forwarder.

What Difference does it make for LCL shipments?

When you or your business mentions that  the shipment is LCL, it means that with just your goods, the container is not going to be full. With all the empty spaces, the freight forwarder would group other LCL goods which are bound for the same route to the port of destination. This is also known ‘group shipping’, where the containers are filled with a variey of goods owned by different individuals  and businesses. But, they are all bound for the same destination

How LCL shipments work

As containers in today’s day and age are standardised and stackable, the LCL mode of shipping has become extremely popular. LCL shipping is more affordable as the container is being used by other shippers, who share the container and pretty much only pay for the space that their  pallets of  goods take up on the container.

The prices for LCL shipments in general

In general, shipping prices for containers are volume based, which means that the shippers exporting their goods only need to pay for the space that their goods occupy  on the container. This is different from air freight shipments, where there is a focus on weight of the goods instead of its volume.  As such LCL shipments, or containers in general operate on Cubic metres (CBM). All shippers would  be charged a minimum of 1 CBM even if the actual volume fo the goods are less than that volume.  At Kargo, we offer containers of 20  feet as well as 40 feet. The 20 feet container has a volume of 32 CBM while the 40 feet model has a volume of 64 CBM. See prices here.

What kind of shipments can LCL be used for

LCL shipments can be used for import, export, house and office moving shipments. However, do take note of the types of goods prohibited on a container as not following them may result in a longer time for your shipments to be completed. You can read about prohibited goods on shipping containers here, there are 9 things which you should never bring on board.

Share you thoughts with us below on what you think about LCL shipments! If you would like to speak to us, click here to fill in the enquiry. We will get back to you immediately


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